Baillie Hunter had about six or seven EK players in his back pocket as his fast direct football left the opposition stunned in the headlights. Hunter had been previously of St. Mirren and was only just recovering from a long time out with a broken leg but you couldn’t tell as his magnificent performance lifted the entire team.
The second half for Drumsagard was straight from the training ground as their pre-season work on possession based direct play with neat one-touch passes clearly paid off. Their forwards scored three in the second 45 but if they’d been a little more clinical it could have ended up being in double figures.
Despite the final scoreline, the first chance actually fell to East Kilbride as an initial high press forced Calyn Gerraghty to misplace a sideways pass, allowing Zak Maher to have a shot from a tight angle on the left straight into the hands of Paul Everett.
This high press continued for the first seven minutes as Anson Lung and Gary Clark looked tetchy at the back during the opening developments, failing to deal with the EK forwards when they pressured them into stray passes and unkempt clearances.
This good work halted, though, on seven minutes as a long throw on the right was launched into the EK box and Gerraghty bravely nodded the ball home to make it 1-0. The EK confidence absolutely drained away following the goal as Drumsagard started their dominance as they meant to go on with beautiful interplay through the middle of the park involving Jay Nelson, Aaron Lonie and the aforementioned Hunter who had a big hand in the second goal.
Hunter had attempted a few direct through balls before one satisfyingly connected with Fraser Scott on 15 minutes, finding him in a crowded penalty box, but the forward stayed calm to stroke the ball into Kyle Brooks’ near post.
The game then calmed down for 20 minutes as Drumsagard were happy to hold on to the ball without much urgency of trying to find an opening, this allowed the back four, who had previously been shaky at best, to really come into the game and keep the EK forwards at bay. Drumsagard weren’t going to settle on a 2-0 lead for long, though, as Nelson turned it up a gear and played in Ronan Gillon who finished in identical fashion to the second goal.
3-0 with only a minute left until half time, this is easy, right? Wrong. Grant Sneddon was one of the few EK players trying to go forward with purpose and he got his reward on the stroke of half time when he was clattered in the box by Anson Lung.
The forward stepped up to take it himself and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way with a high shot into the left of the net. 3-1. Comeback on?